Sunday, December 30, 2007


Today has been a blessed day.

For one thing, Joseph and I actually went to all three hours of church. I LOVE church. It was really fun to be back in my home ward, too; a couple of people did double-takes, since they haven't seen me since April. It was pretty easy to tell -- I got a lot of compliments, although I didn't do anything too terribly special! I may have made a new friend as well -- she moved back in with her parents, for a few months, I guess, until she gets back on her feet. She seemed really nice and it would be good to have another friend close to my age at church (I'm so used to a student ward, after all!)

While at church, yesterday's conversation with another friend about apathy kept coming to mind (I have so many brain-food conversations with him; I'm so glad he's dating my best friend! And he'd probably never forgive me if I didn't say it, so, for the record, he's really glad that he's dating Cindy too, haha.) . . .

I think we, far too often, blame our apathy on our circumstances. I know I sure do. I can't count the number of times someone asks me, "What's up?" and I say "nothing," like no news is good news. But there is ALWAYS good news. That is why peace and apathy cannot coexist. I've heard it said that hate is not the opposite of love: it's indifference, because at least if we hate someone, we notice that they exist. In my quest to make my life more centered on Christ, I want to do more than notice that my Savior exists; I want to notice Him and all things and go about rejoicing because in His goodness, He is so much a part of my life. If the only thing we can find to be glad about is the best thing of all -- the Atonement of Jesus Christ -- then do we not still have reason to rejoice??

Thursday, December 27, 2007


I want, so badly, to be patient.

I think patience is being able to savor the moment, to care about the future but truly understand and accept that it is in God's hands. "Patience is obedience prolonged...[it is] a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe—rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance." (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, as are any of the following quotes.)

I know that good things -- beautiful, FABULOUS things -- are in my future. However, I need to be able to see that there are good things, right here, right now, and that God, in His omniscience, sees that the wonderful things in store for me would be much less wonderful if I had them right now.

I need to submit cheerfully to the Lord's timetable. The past semester was intense -- both mind-numbingly stressful and deeply enlightening and spiritual. Now, that season is over and I need to find purpose once again in my time. However, it needs to be the Lord's purpose, not mine, because while I think the Lord will bless me in my righteous desires, it just isn't right now.

"When we are unduly impatient, however, we are, in effect, trying to hasten an outcome when acceleration would abuse agency," and, I submit, interfere with the Lord's perfect plan for us. I am currently irritated and inconvenienced by this fact, but I am trying to have the patience I need in order to confidently say that the Lord blesses me with the things that are needful, even now.

I want to be happy without checking all the time to see if I am happy -- I don't think that's what I need to do at this part of my life. I need to be calm and peaceful, even if that doesn't mean being bubbly-cheerful. I want, even in this season, to stand in awe of God. Surely there are things in my life right now to savor.

No, I may not get what I want right now, but if I can wait on the Lord, if I can defer the things I want, I can be joyous.

"the seeming flat periods of life give us a blessed chance to reflect upon what is past as well as to be readied for some rather stirring climbs ahead. Instead of grumbling and murmuring, we should be consolidating and reflecting, which would not happen if life were an uninterrupted sequence of fantastic scenery, confrontive events, or exhilarating conversation. Patience helps us to use, rather than protest, these seeming flat periods of life, becoming filled with quiet wonder over the past and with anticipation for that which may lie ahead, instead of demeaning the particular flatness through which we may be passing at the time."

"In our approach to life, patience also helps us to realize that while we may be ready to move on, having had enough of a particular learning experience, our continuing presence is often a needed part of the learning environment of others. Patience is thus closely connected with two other central attributes of Christianity—love and humility."

"Very importantly, it is patience, combined with love, which permits us “in process of time” to detoxify our disappointments."

"Further, the patient person can better understand how there are circumstances when, if our hearts are set too much upon the things of this world, our hearts must be broken—but for our sakes and not merely as a demonstration of divine power. But it takes real patience in such circumstances to wait for the later vindication of our trust in the Lord.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

And by the way...

Merry Christmas!!

"Being Still"

This time in my life has been one of learning to love me for me, and to love God as I should.

It's a steady process, but I've been so blessed. I've realized I can love my body as a gift from God that enables me to experience this encircling beauty here, which is so much how I feel His love. I've become much more OK with my people-needs, and been able to sort out appropriate ways to meet them without emotionally exhausting myself. And every day, I learn a little more how I can rely on God to meet my needs, never mind who else is in my life or will ever be in my life. These are huge and amazing things for me. I'm not sure I ever quite thought I'd be at the place I'm at now...and even if I did, I certainly didn't know how to get there. However, with the help of the Lord and a lot of struggling to have faith in His plan for me, well, here I am.

My blog labels reflect the things that are a part of who I am, and the things I struggle with. And tonight, I'm adding a new label. It isn't that suddenly a new issue sprouted up; it was just that I realized that one of my big things wasn't being shown. This blog is a tool in my life, and I feel like I should use all of the tools I have on hand.

I have never been a very ambitious or driven person. In fact, I'd say that I can be downright lazy. I have a great capacity for wasting time, and I know it. I admire people who are industrious and purposeful, people who always have things to do and always get them done. For some reason, that just doesn't come naturally to me. I procrastinate; I can be apathetic, unmotivated, and idle.

I was praying about this the day before yesterday and doing some thinking, and a line from D&C 101:16 came into my head: "Be still and know that I am God."

I firmly believe that every aspect of ourselves has a positive spin to it; God creates the capacity in all things to forward His work for good. So yes, I may look or feel gross sometimes, but my body has the capacity to give
life -- and to witness life. And yes, I may be easily overwhelmed by people for reasons that will take me a long time to understand, but I have the capacity to turn small, overwhelming moments into blessings, stepping in to fill a need and stepping out again.

Therefore, I believe that my inclination for idleness, if given to God, can foster stillness. I was reading over a conversation from this March with a friend just now:
"Do you ever have days when all you want to do is dance in the driveway?"

Life is so full of joy, there for the taking. I just first have to learn to offer my idleness on the alter, so that I can instead
be still and know that He is God.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lord, Hear My Drum and Smile

Little Drummer Boy tells us the story of a little boy who has been told to come and see the newborn Christ -- with a gift to bring Him, of course. But this boy has just as little as the infant Jesus, laying in His manger, and has no gift worthy of the Christ child. Therefore, he does he only thing he can: he plays his drum for the Messiah, the best he can, and the baby Savior smiles.

Now I know the metaphor here is pretty obvious, but it hits me, deeply, every time I have the patience to make it all the way through the many rum-pa-pum-pums. We are each called to see the King, to witness the miracles He can bring to our lives, but we also must bring to Him a gift. Sometimes we have so little -- our gifts seem so inadequate to offer our King. However, if we offer all we can, the best we can, our gift, our heart, is accepted by our God.

I also like that it is a drum that the little boy plays. I really believe it is the steady beat of our daily lives, the constant struggle to give our heart to Him, that makes our offering acceptable. It is our action, the lifting of the sticks and applying them to the smooth surface of the drum, that makes the Lord smile.

I've been talking with a friend about humility for almost a week's been wonderfully fun and we've brought up some truly insightful questions, and solid responses to those questions.
Humility, I think, has everything to do with drumming our beat for Christ. If we turn the focus from ourselves -- our own knowledge, our own plans, etc -- to God, then we are able to offer an acceptable gift.

The interesting thing is that Jesus Christ, when He smiles, is not only smiling at our drumbeat. He smiles because of who we have become as we learn to play. Lately I've been struggling to be close to God. However, God knows that I love Him, and that I'm still only practicing my drumbeat -- but I'm practicing it for Him.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Do Not Fade in Winter's Snow

I've always thought O Christmas Tree was a cheesy song. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas trees, I just think that if you're going to write a song about them, you could at least make it creative. However, I looked up the lyrics tonight and it struck me:

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, with faithful leaves unchanging Your boughs are green, in summers' glow and do not fade in winters' snow.

It's just like God's love for us.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Friendships that Surprise

Here it is the 20th and my last post was on the 1st. Suffice it to say that life has been crazy this month, and now I'm trying to be happy in the place I'm at right now, instead of feeling understimulated.

A wonderful contributor to my sanity the past couple of days has been the ever-wonderful Cindy -- and her boyfriend, Mahon.

Becoming friends with Mahon has really been an interesting process. At first, he was just this guy in Cindy's geology class that she thought was cool and mentioned a few times. And then, the next semester, he started showing up at the apartment. All. The. Time.

It wasn't that I ever disliked Mahon. In fact, I was intrigued by my level of ambivalence. I just had no real interest in getting to know him. I believed Cindy when she said he was interesting and genuinely kind and spiritual to boot, but I still was more inclined to leave the room when he came over than not. While I fully support people as an institution, they do wear me out. Mahon, as a new person, was no exception to that.

However, because he was completely crazy about Cindy, he kept coming over. And mostly just because I didn't want to spend less time with my best friend on account of a BOY, I stuck around. This resulted in a few interesting silences when Cindy left the room...we both kind of pretended to be preoccupied with something else, until we came up with SOMETHING to say to each other. It usually ended up being about Cindy anyway.

And then, there was some sort of breakthrough. It wasn't something that happened all at once, but one day, Cindy and I jumped in the car to go do something and I turned to her and cocked my head to one side.

"Is Mahon in class?"

"Yeah, he is."


Now in type I can't really express this, but there was definitely a little disappointment in the tone of that "oh." Cindy caught the tone and we talked all the rest of the ride about the hows and whys of the fact that I wouldn't have minded washing my hands of him before, and yet somehow I was sad that we weren't hanging out with him.

Although Mahon and Cindy still gross me out a little (seeing my kids date people is going to be ROTTEN) at least now I can agree with what Cindy said to me at first: that Mahon is an interesting, genuinely kind, spiritual person. I still wouldn't say that I know him super-well, but I do find him a pleasure to talk to and be around.

Cindy is delighted by how all of this had played out. Every once in a while, she says to me, "I'm SO glad you like Mahon better now!"

My response? "Yeah, me too."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Let It Snow

It makes me sniffle and turn red, and lose feeling in part of me that I usually don't have wonder whether or not they're still attached. Because of it, I have to wear the same big coat day after day because it's the only thing that keeps me from turning blue, and I am in constant fear of hat-hair.

But I don't care. This semester, I have realized something: I love the cold.


"Ugh, it's so warm in here, I'm opening the window."

"You're hot??"

She batted her eyelashes. "Of course I am."

There was the expected roll of the eyes and he continued, "But you seriously aren't cold right now?"

"No way! You're just a reptile."


I'm typically an extremely even-keeled person. Sure, I can be stressed, silly, annoyed, or even cheerful. But lately I'm learning to feel more deeply, to love life simply because it is there, and it is good, rather than because something particularly stellar happened. I'm learning to surround myself with things that make me happy -- the pajama pants I'm wearing, fresh fruit (not so much lately though, sigh), just simple things that bring me joy. I've found I'm more inclined to put on makeup even, because I like to feel good about myself -- not because I feel bad about myself. Interesting distinction, no?



"Yeah, like cold-blooded. I'd hardly ever cold. I think I get it from my dad."

"Well, I'm from Idaho, so I'm supposed to be used to this thing. But I
still think it's cold."


I think it's because I'm such an even-keeled person that I like the cold so much. It's the biting sensation on my cheeks, the way the winter wind billows past my ears. I love the often-overcast sky and that snow falls here in the Burg. Snow makes everything more beautiful, it both softens and intensifies in a way nothing else can. Winter reds and dark browns stand out so much more, and people stand a little closer, for warmth. And when it falls, well, then it's just pure magic. And I'm seeking more magic in my life.


"Exactly. We can't explain it away by saying you're from a warmer climate, so obviously you're a reptile." She leaned out of the open window.

He shivered. "Yeah well...mammal!"


I love that there are things in the world like snow, and winter, and flowers sitting on my coffee table while my roommate fills the floor with scrapbooking supplies. These are the times that so easily pass us by, so it's nice that you have to hesitate at the door, wondering if you should put on an extra layer or not, feeling and looking and thinking and searching with that extra something we all have.

The next time you stop and wonder that, I hope you also use your senses -- all five, or even six -- to realize how beautiful all of this is, and how blessed you are to have it.